I think it’s important to get some breaks during the work. There are a lot of studies and real world examples that people sit before computer or desk all the day, and damage being done to their backs, necks, shoulders, elbows and hands. Thus the popularity of adjustable height desk so that people can choose to stand or sit during the work day. Both Marco Arment and Joel Spolsky did posts on the adjustable desk and ideal sit stance. Also noted Jeff larmarche did a post on a desk with walking treadmill. I think I will do another post on the desk topic some time, when I have more hands on experience on this topic. For me, I don’t have a luxury of setting up my desk most of the time, being it work at company office, or work from home (or Panera Bread, or Starbucks with laptop, which is a big no no according to Marco and David Smith’s “Ergonomics” podcast).
One thing I know I can do is to stand up and walk around. I walk all the time, all the places. In the good old days when I was working at earth city, I walked both after lunch and at around 3PM. I recall I walked with an older coworker a few times, and I could not catch his steps. So I stayed on my own pace. Not too slow though. According to many research, walking too slow is useless. I carried this habit when I worked from home in 2008~2010. At that time I had Blackberry, so I just need to carry it when I walk or occasionally joggling in the neighborhood. I carried this habit to a new company (a small one), and the project manager was not happy with it, I mean walk at 3PM habit. He made a hay out of this, so I only walked during lunch break (at Chesterfield mall, esp. in winter and summer). I like walking in the mall. Usually I walked two loops. Parked outside Macy’s. At Unigroup in Fenton I also walked during lunch break, at parking lot.
Then come to Arch Coal (note the company just filed bankruptcy today). The best benefits I got from Arch was the discount of JCC membership and company pays for 75% of the discounted membership fees. So I got the JCC membership the first time, I am still a member although I am paying the full price out of my own pocket. While I do swimming at JCC pool (mostly indoor, both Creve Coeur and Chesterfield), I also walk on treadmill. Those are two activities I do at JCC. I kept this habit even after I leave Arch Coal, when I worked at Weldon Spring or Mercy Health (Chesterfield and Sunset Hills). For Mercy I found a really nice trail at Laumeier’s Sculpture park. Also in summer 2013 I got a UP Jawbone band, since then I started to track my steps using pedometer. I am aware of 10,000 steps per day as doctor’s recommendation. But only when I get the Fitbit Charge my tracking and charting became more consistent.
These days I usually walk during coffee break, lunch break to get most of the steps during the day. If for some reason I did not get much opportunity to walk during walk (which means I sit too long), I will try to catch up at JCC or at home (late evening, weather permits). St. Louis’ winter temperature sometimes is not very forgiving. That’s when JCC comes to play. I will do swim, as swim usually consumes more energy and it exercise the whole body including arms.